Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his second leg of three nations visit, has reached Papua New Guinea, where he has been accorded with "exceptional" ceremonial welcome even after arriving following sunset. Notably, the island nation doesn't provide a ceremonial welcome for the leaders who arrive after sunset.
However, the country has been so overwhelmed by Prime Minister Modi's visit that it has made a special exception to accord him a grand welcome. Interestingly, Modi's visit to Papua New Guinea is the first ever by any Indian prime minister.
"A grand beginning of an important visit! PM @narendramodi arrives in Port Moresby on what is the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Papua New Guinea. Accorded a 19-gun salute, guard of honour & ceremonial welcome. As a special gesture, PM James Marape received PM Modi at the airport," tweeted MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
PM Modi's tour to the island nation
He landed the island nation from Japan where he attended the summit of the G7 advanced economies and held bilateral meetings with several world leaders.
During his visit to Papua New Guinea, Modi and his counterpart James Marape will host the third summit of the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) on Monday.
"I am grateful that all 14 Pacific Island Countries (PIC) have accepted the invitation to attend this important summit (FIPIC)," Modi had said earlier. FIPIC was launched during his visit to Fiji in 2014.
The FIPIC Summit will see participation from leaders of 14 countries. Normally all of them rarely converge together due to connectivity and other issues.
PIC includes Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Modi will also hold bilateral talks with Marape and meet Bob Dadae, the Governor General of Papua New Guinea.